BACK TO THE FUTURE
Motoring World|April 2021
One of these is the closest you’ll get to owning a piece of the future
Aditya Upadhyaula

When Doc Brown set off into the future, he claimed he didn’t need roads where he was going, you know, in 2015. Well, here we are, six years past that and still dealing with the side effects of gravity. We may not have flying cars yet, but we still have a small slice of the future available now. I’m talking, of course, about electric vehicles, two homegrown ones at that.

The Tata Nexon EV came out early last year and remains one of the most impressive EVs I’ve driven so far. And then there is the Ather 450X. There have been electric scooters before it, but none that offered the range and functionality that the 450X managed to squeeze into its trellis frame. As far as scooters go, the Ather is the most alien-looking one on the market and the special edition seen here is even more so, thanks to its translucent body panels exposing its trellis frame and electronics. The Nexon EV, on the other hand, subtly sets itself apart from its internal-combustion brethren with the help of light blue accents on its lower grille and window trim.

To say they take different approaches is an understatement, of course. The Ather is a ground-up rethink of what an electric scooter should be, while the Nexon EV is, well, a Nexon with an electric powertrain. Perhaps I’m oversimplifying it a bit, though, because the platform that underpins the Nexon EV was designed with electrification in mind from the beginning, which explains the lack of compromises needed to make it a full-fledged EV. The battery neatly stows under the passenger cell and only reduces ground clearance by 4 mm over the regular car, and rear-seat passengers don’t have to worry about it eating into their precious legroom, either.

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